Brendan Brown is the only football coach Northeastern has known in its short history.
Brendan Brown is the only football coach Northeastern has known in its short history. (Daily Record/Sunday News -- file)
After eight seasons with the program, the only varsity football coach Northeastern has ever known decided it was time for a break.

Brendan Brown confirmed Tuesday he has resigned as the Bobcats' coach, ending a run that began in 2006 -- two years before Northeastern started its varsity team -- and culminated with two consecutive winning seasons.

"What went into building this just took so much effort and energy," Brown said. "Other than beating West York, I felt like I did everything I wanted to do. It's time to hand the keys over to someone else and let them continue it."

Brown, 38, said he informed Northeastern athletic director Bryan Stephens before the season that the 2012 campaign would be his last. The coach finished with a 22-30 record in six varsity seasons. The Bobcats went 7-4 this fall and made their second straight District 3 Class AAA playoff appearance.

Brown nearly stepped away after the 2011 season -- when Northeastern notched its first winning record (6-5) and won a share of the Division II title -- but decided last winter to come back.

"It was just one of those things where, honestly, I was ready to ride into the sunset," he said. "I lost both my offensive and defensive coordinators. I decided that I was going to go into the offseason and see how dedicated the kids were. If the kids showed me they were serious about this and they learned enough from last year's seniors, then I felt like I owed it to them."

Brown, who teaches business and computers at Northeastern, served briefly as an assistant at William Penn before taking over at Northeastern. He coached the Bobcats' junior high and freshman teams for one season each before leading the varsity program during its debut in 2008.

He called the high point of his tenure his team's first district playoff appearance -- a 14-7 loss to West York in 2011.

"That's when I knew that the program had arrived," Brown said. "To close the gap on such an incredibly respectable program like West York."

Brown added he'd like the get back into coaching at some point, possibly at the college level. For now, he feels the program is on solid footing.

"Our middle school team, they lost a really close game to Red Lion, but they dominated everybody else in the division," Brown said. "There's a really strong group coming up in the eighth grade.

"Next year, whoever takes over can put their program into place. ... That's going to be a good situation for whoever comes in."

@johnsclayton; 771-2045